The nickname "The First Lady of Folk" has been with June Tabor for quite some time, but it does tend to suggest a repertoire that sticks faithfully to traditional British songs and little else. "A Quiet Eye" should be a revelation to those more familiar with her interpretations of the classics: not only do the lush musical arrangements range from music-hall to sophisticated jazz, but the repertoire borrows heavily from some of the finest contemporary British songwriters (Richard Thompson, Bill Caddick, Maggie Holland) as well as from folk-song. Traditional tunes including "The Water is Wide" and "I Will Put My Ship in Order" are performed in the customary soulful, breathy style and reach almost tear-jerking intensity in places; "Waltzing's for Dreamers" continues the Tabor tradition of making glumness into something sublime; and the outstanding "Writing of Tipperary" is a story-song tracing, not only the forgotten history of Britain in the run-up to the First World War, but also of the wager which gave birth to the War's most famous song. My personal favourite is Maggie Holland's "A Place Called England" - a triumphant reclamation of Englishness from the xenophobes and snobs who normally have a monopoly on the title! Overall, June Tabor's voice has never sounded finer, the musical arrangements are sheer perfection, and this is an album of huge intensity, with a great deal to say for itself.